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Obscenely Yours

Overview


Poetry. This fearless debut transcends the obscene with its self-conscious probing of sexual identity. Navigating each line with a tender awareness and a luminous honesty, Angelo Nikolopoulos exposes the complex worlds of forbidden desire and vulnerability. His lyric poems boldly defy social norms with their uninhibited passion for revealing the tangled intricacies of beauty and shame.
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Overview


Poetry. This fearless debut transcends the obscene with its self-conscious probing of sexual identity. Navigating each line with a tender awareness and a luminous honesty, Angelo Nikolopoulos exposes the complex worlds of forbidden desire and vulnerability. His lyric poems boldly defy social norms with their uninhibited passion for revealing the tangled intricacies of beauty and shame.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Nikolopoulos’s debut is careful, sexy, and very aptly titled. The flush of sex brims in every line, an arousal that oscillates between rosy “stem and bloom” and metallic images that conjure something rougher, harder, more masculine. His poem “Str8 Gym Buddies: Auditions” addresses the environment of “the alloyed bench press,// iron beam and barbell.” He confesses, “I love the language of cardiovascular desire,/ looking’s syntax in its steeliness,// tethered by limits, wrought form.” The body, its ecstasy and its shame, is this poet’s obsession, and he observes it with a straightforward awe. “www.daddyhunt.com” is candid: “on the subway ride home, it is not guilt/ that hangs overhead, not regret soiled// in the folds of the shirt, the torn buttonhole,” but rather a sense of wonder at how gay men found each other in a more conservative past, how it must have felt for them to finally bump into someone similar. Nikolopoulos’s poems tend to remain purely physical and not linger in reflection. Amid poems categorized as auditions or scenes, there are more airy, open pieces without titles that lean toward longing and loneliness. And yet, Nikolopoulos counters, “it’s a miracle to have been given a body at all.// Life is a celebration. By neon lights/ and cellulite. We are not dead.” (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Nikolopoulos’s debut is careful, sexy. . . . The body, its ecstasy and its shame, is this poet’s obsession, and he observes it with a straightforward awe." —Publishers Weekly

“'Take the body out,' this poet is told, 'as in erase it.' But Angelo Nikolopoulos is smart and rebellious enough to bring the body out instead—out of its inarticulate silence, out of its closet. These poems plunge straightforwardly into the heart of sex: the spirit and hope, terror and boredom, the elation and shame and beauty of the thing itself. A divine spirit that indwells in nature and the universe? 'Where else would it be?' Nikolopoulos asks. Obscenely Yours is a thrilling book: crackingly alive, brilliant and absolutely fearless.” —Mark Doty

“Dynamic and dead-on, these poems speak to the urge, the threat, the violent appetite of desire. They also do the hard work of unraveling the question of love—the thing we ‘take on faith…lightly,’ that asks everything and promises only we ‘are not dead.’ Obscenely Yours leads us through the Cineplex of ecstatic language and out into the wilderness of human longing, where we let go the selves we know and become ‘something else entirely.’” —Tracy K. Smith

“These supple poems are at once frank and mysterious, and they explore desire in a way that feels modern and intelligent. An audacious debut, Obscenely Yours is devilishly candid and definitely scandalous.” —Edmund White

“I love Angelo Nikolopoulos’s poems—for their embodied electricity, their sophisticated minimalism, their racy scenarios, their tender-hearted reserve. Obscenely Yours has concentrated allure, achieved through sculpted angles, ideal lighting, and a perfectly choreographed compromise between silence and speech. His lines, loaded with edge and drip and torsion, behave like an action painting tucked into the svelte envelope of a Dickinson-tight line. Inebriate of air is Angelo, whose first book is a wonder.” —Wayne Koestenbaum

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882295999
  • Publisher: Alice James Books
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,426,820
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Angelo Nikolopoulos was raised in California and is a graduate of New York University's creative writing program. His poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2011, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review, New York Quarterly, North American Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. He was the recipient of the 2011 Discovery/Boston Review prize for poetry and has taught creative writing at several institutions, including New York University and Rutgers University. He lives in New York City.
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